Top Moss Eccles

Windermere Walk

Hill Top and Moss Eccles Tarn

Beatrix Potter originally visited the Lake District on family holidays. She became familiar with the low fells around Near and Low Sawrey whilst staying for the summer at Lakefield House (aka Ees Wyke). She purchased Hill Top Farm in 1905 funded by royalties from the sales of her much loved illustrated children’s books. She then when on to purchase other farms around the area; in part to satisfy her interest in sheep farming and also because of her concern for conserving the traditional Lake District landscape. At the time there were few planning constraints and over development and the potential of urbanisation was starting to become an issue. Her property purchases where gifted to the National Trust for their continued care and management. This walk takes in many of the locations that provided inspiration for many of the settings and characters in her books. For example Moss Eccles Tarn with its abundant lily pads is the likely setting for Jeremy Fisher’s home, and undoubtedly the Tower Bank Arms are the backdrop for The Tale of Jemima Puddle Duck.

Top moss big


Strenuousness 1

Navigation 1

Technicality 1

Start/finish National Trust Car Park, Near Sawrey GR SD369956. Parking here is only for visitors to Hill Top so you will need to park further away and walk to the start point.

Distance 4.5km (2.8 miles)

Time 2 hour

Height gain 175m

Terrain Tracks and paths through woodland and low fells.


OS Landranger 90 (1:50 000)

OS Explorer OL7 (1:25 000)

Harvey Superwalker XT25 Lake District Southeast (1:25 000)

British Mountain Maps Lake District (1:40 000).

  1. SD303975 From the car park follow the road southeast and head to Hill Top. Just past Hill Top there is a permissive path on the south side of the road, follow it to join a footpath beside Wilfin Beck. The footpath along the beck is followed to join a minor road near Town End. Turn left onto it and follow it up to the main road at Far Sawrey.
  2. SD377955 Carefully cross the road and join the bridleway on the other side that heads towards Moss Eccles Tarn and Claife Heights. The bridleway is tarmacked to start then becomes a gravel track. Ignore the entrances to the ‘Vicarage’ and the ‘Righting’ and continue on the bridleway in the direction of Hawkshead to eventually join the bridleway that comes up from Near Sawrey.
  3. SD372962 Continue straight ahead and make the steady climb up the track to Moss Eccles Tarn. The tarn and the continuation of the route are out of sight from the track. It can be located by passing through the gate then climbing left up the grass bank beside a rocky knoll. If you miss the path you can re-locate it by back tracking over the rocky knoll once the main track comes to the side of Moss Eccles Tarn.

SD372967 From the embankment beside the tarn head left round the south side and join a path through a gate. The path is on a boardwalk around the edge and is followed to a stile. Follow the way-marked path up the rough pasture and then down other side to eventually reach an access track. Join the